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TheCanadianLiberal Donating Member (245 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:14 PM
Original message
Cars for the future...
With so much talk about the Volt I think it's important we look at all the possible options for fueling our cars in the future. The Volt is but one example of many good possibilities however, is not yet fully mature.

Hybrids are the most viable for the average person, they work work good with very little hassle. They are but a stepping stone to future cars.

Electric cars are only starting to become practical but still have many bugs to be worked out. Battery life and disposal are a few. Electric cars have a long way to go before they could become a common sight. These will be the cars of the future unless something dramatic changes.

Gas Powered Cars are the majority of cars on the road and while they work great and have stood the test of time, they are a major issue. Gas cars a putting an enormous strain on the environment as we all know.

LPG is another type of petroleum gas that burns much cleaner and has much, much lower emissions. Because it burns cleaner an engine built for it can last longer then a typical gas engine.

Diesels give the best of so many worlds, they can tow/haul, last forever and get great fuel economy. Diesel fuel is easier to make and while it produces a few more emissions you get more bang out of it. My Jetta gets 45-50MPG, something few gas cars can boast. Diesels can also run many different types of fuel including biodiesel, making them more versatile.

Electric is the future but we aren't at a point to implement and switch yet. I think our best bet is to start producing Diesel Hybrids (Imagine Prius with a diesel engine), since the two combined would give very good efficiency and economy. With biodiesel that could be even further improved. We're able to do this now and several companies are planing on coming out in the next few years with these types of cars.

What do you think about all this?
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. You didn't cite your sources
or use APA format.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
27. That made me laugh.
I recently decided to complete my degree after leaving 15 years ago and all I ever see anywhere is about citing sources and using APA format.

I swear the crappiest paper could earn a solid "C" if they cited at least one bogus source and used APA.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think the car of the future will be perfectly suited to the modern family.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. I know a guy who is working on a 100 mpg car, which I think can
also run on biofuel. He's met with some success, been written up in legit publications, and is finally attracting backing. If we can't have electric, I think this might be the way to go.

Here's his site if anyone is interested (remember - still in early stages!):

http://www.wikispeed.com/
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. this is very cool!
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. He's a VERY nice guy! Put his savings into it, works day and night on it, I even
cut out the foam for the seats for the first generation car that he entered in the X-Prize. You know you're desperate for help when you recruit me to help on something like this!

I'll tell him I "know" someone who likes it! It will mean a lot to him. :hi:
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jacquelope Donating Member (364 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
29. Biofuel? As long as it's not displacing food crops... n/t
..
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. Your thinking is similar to mine.
Full electric poses an infrastructure problem. Many people have no place to plug it in. Hybrids of one type or another could be the answer for these people, while people who are able to plug in can go with electrics.

For the future, either the infrastructure issues can be resolved so that everyone can plug in, or some sort of renewable carbon neutral fuel can be developed for hybrids.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Would you care for a diesel electric hybrid that gets 313 mpg and looks like this? You can have
Edited on Sun Mar-20-11 07:34 PM by HysteryDiagnosis
one right about NOW.



http://inhabitat.com/volkswagen-to-unveil-235mpg-car-at... /

Volkswagen just unveiled a new car at the Qatar Motor Show that gets an astounding 100km for less than a lieter of diesel fuel thats the equivalent of 313 miles per gallon! The green car is an upgraded version of the VW L1 vehicle and it features an ultra-efficient diesel engine in addition to an electric motor that is powered by a lithium-ion battery.
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northoftheborder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Very cool! Will this be sold in US?
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. If it isn't, and if one of the somewhat big three don't put something like this
together then we can say all we want about energy independence but it will be smoke up someone's backside.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. not immediately, but with fuel prices expected to pass $4/gal there might
be more pressure to bring these into the US market.

Europe gets ALL the best cars.
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. very cool, the rear end looks a little freaky but not that bad

I don't see anything about a price, and I noticed there are 2 "modes" for the engine so that 313 may be a bit optimistic. Even so, if the mileage is only half of that estimate this is still a huge breakthrough.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Breakthrough yes, but me and my pals in school were drawing similar such
vehicles in the 6th grade or so, many many years ago.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
6. Why do we need cars?
They are an expensive "asset" which sit idle a great majority of their lives. I say bring back surface trams (trolleys) which can share road surface with the existing infrastructure.

In 1900 even small towns had light rail so the concept is hardly unproven.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I think it would be difficult to do away with cars completely for the foreseeable future,
but public transportation and greatly increased use of telecommuting could cut way back on the number of miles driven.
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TheCanadianLiberal Donating Member (245 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Because we don't all live in cities and towns...
My closest neighbor is 5KM away, town is 35KM away, the nearest hospital is 50km away and the city is 349Km away.

Some of us rely on our cars.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. even as a car enthusiast, i'm very sympathetic to this...i'd much rather
live in a walking city, or a city with great transit, than to be out in the 'burbs like i am now. it's a little longer-term goal for me personally -- and i hope it's becoming a goal for the country as a whole.

not for nothing, that's what all the best thinking on urban design is about right now.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
8. I still can't figure out why we gave up on hydrogen powered cars.
Not for the life of me.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Honda's not given up! $600/mo lease
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. I love the Clarity.
Sadly, everyone else seems to have given up in spite of Honda.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. yes, i think they have...maybe, tho, this will become Honda's flagship.
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. I am only guessing here
but for one thing they would basically be natural gas powered cars. Fuel cells run on that just as well as hydrogen and would be less expensive. There really isn't any good source for hydrogen unless you extract it from natural gas and there isn't any good reason to pay for that process unless you count the carbon being outside of cities where the vehicles would be operated.


Also the infrastructure issue. It is a minor concern but right now people stop at gas stations and plug things into outlets. Changing over to pumping a gas into what you are driving may be a bit to strange for the average consumer.

People are still thinking Hindenburg when you talk to them about hydrogen. Fear may also be an issue.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. (car thread!) been a hybrid owner since 2005, just got a JSW TDI
and, i can say, after this last bit of shopping, i will never go back to low-milage vehicles. i loved my Honda Civic Hybrid, but i wanted more of a "driver's car," after owning a BMW 3-series, and a Miata (the Honda was my life-change car, wanted something reliable, cheap and rugged). Going from those two "enthusiast" cars to the Hybrid was pretty easy, tho. It was fun to drive and was a hell of a camping/kayaking vehicle, which the others were not. it still had great driver-road communication, which the Prius does not have (they feel like mini-SUVs to me).

here's my take on "cars of the future," they have to be great "driving" cars, or great "utility" cars (like, working or recreation vehicles), or just great. Tesla, if they get their crossover out, will have both the "driving" and the ute car. so, i think they're a company to look to for leadership as this progresses.

but, for the above reason, i think the diesels are the car of the now and near-future. you are right-on about the power and endurance of the engines. and, for someone who commutes on the freeway to work, and does a lot of road-tripping, the milage on the TDI is way more useful to me than the hybrid. i.e. i do more high-speed highway driving than in-town stop-and-go. and god, i'm in love with my Sportwagen. What a wonderful car.





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global1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #9
28. Please Tell Me What JSW TDI Stands For?.......
I'm interested in finding out more about this one.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
17. Why European Diesel Cars Are Not Available in the U.S. (and Canada)
Good post in the Scientific American questions section:

Dear EarthTalk: I dont understand why there are many European diesel cars with very high mileage ratings that are not available in the U.S. Can you enlighten?
-- John Healy, Fairfield, CT

Since the advent of the automobile age in the U.S., gasoline has been king of the road; today upwards of 95 percent of passenger cars and light trucks on American roads are gas-powered. And the federal government has done its part to keep it that way, taxing diesel at a rate about 25 percent higher than gasoline. A recent assessment by the American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry trade group, found that federal taxes accounted for 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel but only 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline.


More:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-eu...
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. that is very interesting...and weird. seems it would be a "biz-friendly" tax cut
that would actually benefit more than businesses, to bring that tax in line with gas. might be a good pressure point.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
19. Nissan Leaf is a good idea, but the electric motors need tweaking. Read on.
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RickFromMN Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
20. I convinced myself China will decide the car of the future.

My reasons for saying this are as follows:

China is the largest auto market, not the United States
Please do a google search: china largest auto market
The following are a few examples from this search:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=...

http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/china-...

==========

I can only speculate on what choices China will make...and I will admit my guesses are probably wrong.

I believe China will not wish to select a vehicle that uses oil.

China is already dependent on foreign oil.
Please do a google seach: china oil production
The following are a few examples from this search:
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90778/90860/689...

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ve...

China is seeking alternative energy solutions for energy in general--I am not talking about cars at this moment.
Please do a google search: China alternative energy
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/business/energy-envir...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/mar/25/chi...

If China is focusing on alternative energy solutions, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest
China will want cars that can run using alternative energy sources.

==========

I believe one possible choice is electric cars. I believe China will make, use, and export electric cars.
Please do a google search: china electric car

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/02/coda-automotiv...
I quote from this article,
"CODA and Chang'an Hafei are discussing whether the Chinese partner might sell a version of the electric sedan in China, Murtaugh said.

The Chinese government has targeted electric cars in industrial development plans that call for China to create its own profitable technologies.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said last year Beijing will invest 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) over the next decade to make China a leader in alternative energy vehicles."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904...
"Honda Eyes China's Electric Car Market"

==========

Do I believe electric vehicles are the only alternative energy vehicle to consider?
I honestly don't know.

I tried the following google search: china hydrogen fuel cell car

http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/blog2/index.php/politica... /

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/11/ap-20101119.htm...

I welcome people finding other references or other choices besides electric cars and fuel cell cars.

==========

My instinct is to believe electric cars seem to be more on the front burner, but I lack evidence.
The reason, for my belief, is because a lot of car manufacturers are trying to make electric cars.

I believe car manufacturers have been told, behind closed doors, if they wish to participate in China,
they need to make vehicles the Chinese government wants them to make--but I have no proof for this belief.

There is, presently, a "push" for electric cars, from GM, Nissan, Ford, BMW, Renault, Honda, Mitsubishi,
Daimler, to name a few companies.

Please do a google search: electric car makers

http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/clean-fleet-articles/to... /

Please do a google search: electric car year

http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/plug-in-hybrids/chevrol... /

http://www.caroftheyear.org/winner/2011_52/coty

I do not see a corresponding push for hydrogen fuel cell cars or other types of cars.

I do not believe auto makers want to make electric cars, out of the goodness of their hearts.
Someone, very powerful, has motivated them. I can only guess it is the Chinese government.
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